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LL Entry to Paint Room without Tenant Consent

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LL Entry to Paint Room without Tenant Consent

Postby DoingItRight » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:10 pm

I love this forum. I've read the archives and could not find the answer to my issue so I thought it best to post a new topic. So here goes...

Can my landlords (a minister and his wife) come into my room and paint this weekend after giving me 24-hours notice? They claim that it is the law to give 24 hours notice. I don’t want them in my room when I’m not there and I am allergic to paint fumes. I don’t want them to paint my room. I want them to wait until I leave in three months. I already told them no.

My rental situation is that my landlords own and live in a one family unit house (built around 1908) in Brooklyn which they illegally converted to a building with 6 dwelling units. They rent out a room to me and there are three additional tenants who each rent a room and a couple who rents the basement. I recently discovered that my landlords don’t have a certificate of occupancy for renting out rooms. Can I stop them from painting? The landlords are retaliating because my one year lease expires today and they want me out but I’m staying a good deal longer (3 months) against their wishes. They claim that I have been smoking in my room but I don’t smoke indoors or in cars and I told them that but they keep making up this lie.

They are not taking me to eviction court because they are illegal and they don’t want to lose their rental income.

I would love to know your thoughts on my situation.
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Postby TenantNet » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:55 pm

The short answer is No. You should read and digest the LL access rules in the Reference section of the forum (see link above). For repairs, the notice requirements of the Housing Maintenance Code is 7 days. http://tenant.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=4837
See 28 RCNY § 25-101

If your lease does not prohibit smoking, then there should be no prohibition. In some situations such as a rooming house, there might be House Rules posted that have to be reasonable. (but the issue here, as you explain it, is that you are not smoking in the apartment/room)

If your intention is to move in three months, then consider making complaints about the illegal conversion when you move out. But be considerate in that you might be causing problems for the remaining tenants. Either way, I would look at whether the building and its divisions are safe (especially from fire).

I remember the Queens Borough President Office had a unit that dealt with illegal conversions, but I don't know if the Brooklyn Borough President has a similar initiative. I would look into it.
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Postby Emeraldstar » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:06 pm

Hi All
Since your staying an extra 3 months & your LL's are already creating bogus entry issues I advise you to keep any important documents, valuables etc in a safety deposit box. I would also carry something (though not an expired lease) to prove your address/residence to the police should the LL's try an illegal lock out. You may want to look up illegal lock out for furthur info.
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Postby ronin » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:11 am

Tenant,

As you know Marty was "Mr. Tenant" while a state senator. Nowadays he's Mr. Real Estate, so don't hold your breath waiting for him to help a tenant.
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A Valid Lease & Update to Paint Issue

Postby DoingItRight » Thu May 02, 2013 4:50 pm

Dear Forum,

Here is an update about my landlord painting my room without my permission.

The Good news is that I let my landlord paint my room. The bad news is that they took me to court. They were not kidding. I was served with a notice for holdover and went to court even though my landlord has no certificate of occupancy. Because I agreed with a mediator to leave in 45 days (needed time to find an apartment) we didn’t see a judge so this holdover will not show up on my record.

However, I discovered that my landlord is going to sue me in small claims court for legal fees incurred in getting me out. In the lease that I signed, there is a clause that says that I am responsible for all legal fees and expenses incurred during my stay.

My question is this: “Is a lease valid if at the time of signing, the landlord doesn’t have a certificate of occupancy and I was the sixth tenant to sign in a one family dwelling unit. I know that a landlord can legally rent out one room in their one family dwelling (to friends), but I was the sixth tenant. My landlord even bragged about one tenant living there for five years.

I would like to prove that the lease is invalid because of the lack of certificate of occupancy. Also, I live on the third floor of the landlord’s old gorgeous Victorian house and there is only one exit down the stairwell. How can I involve the fire department without incurring fines? Should I use that as a defense as well?

I don’t want to wait for the other shoe to fall after I leave so that is why I’m trying to set-up a defense now. I have 12 more days before I have to be out. What are your thoughts about my nightmare?
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Postby Emeraldstar » Fri May 03, 2013 9:11 pm

Hi All
I suggest thst you go speak with the free attorneys at the housing court in your area. They may offer advisement on the lack of c of o as a defense.
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Re: A Valid Lease & Update to Paint Issue

Postby Cranky Tenant » Mon May 06, 2013 5:09 pm

DoingItRight wrote:My question is this: “Is a lease valid if at the time of signing, the landlord doesn’t have a certificate of occupancy and I was the sixth tenant to sign in a one family dwelling unit. I know that a landlord can legally rent out one room in their one family dwelling (to friends), but I was the sixth tenant. My landlord even bragged about one tenant living there for five years.


These are questions you should've raised in Housing Court where they're probably more familiar with illegal conversions. Without knowing how these legal fees are worded in your lease, or the wording in any stipulations you may have signed, I don't know if anyone can really answer your question.

I'm not a lawyer but I would imagine if you signed a stipulation, the case never went to trial, and the landlord didn't win, he's probably not entitled to any legal fees unless they're stated in the stipulation.
I'm a cranky tenant NOT a cranky lawyer.
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Postby TenantNet » Mon May 06, 2013 8:18 pm

Six tenants? You might be eligible for RS status. Check with DHCR.
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Postby ronin » Thu May 09, 2013 2:15 am

I have to agree with Cranky's position...
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